August 29, 2023
Viral hepatitis— hepatitis C (HCV) and hepatitis B (HBV) — affects more than 320 million people worldwide, with 90 percent of infections concentrated in low- and middle-income countries. The disease leads to significant liver damage, liver cancer, and liver failure. Although HCV is curable in more than 95 percent of patients with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), only seven percent of those infected receive treatment. Many factors contribute to this gap, including limited awareness of HCV, lack of public screening and treatment programs, and historically high costs of care. Similarly, HBV is vaccine-preventable, yet impacts more than 250 million people worldwide. In low- and middle-income countries, only a fraction of those in need receive the vaccine as infants or treatment as adults.
CHAI is committed to eliminating HCV. We have developed a strategy that aims to cure over 16 million people in 34 countries over the next ten years. Since 2015, CHAI has helped governments in six countries initiate public HCV programs to simplify patient diagnosis and monitoring and lower the costs of medications to save millions of lives. We have helped, through market shaping and price negotiations, lower the cost of treatment by 81 to 97 percent (depending on the country), from an average of US$2,618 to as low as US$60 per cure. Since the program’s inception, over 100,000 patients have been initiated on treatment in the countries where we work. This initial push has demonstrated effective models that can serve as guides to the countries that follow.
To help prevent new HBV infections, we are partnering with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, as well as governments, to organize programs to administer the HBV birth dose more effectively. We are leveraging existing relationships with national HIV, HCV and maternal health/antenatal care programs to support the integration of HBV diagnosis and treatment within already established systems.
HCV cost-per-cure, reduced from US$2,618
price reduction in cost-per-patient treated for HCV
patients treated for HCV through CHAI support